News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Two Maple Leaf scenes this morning

February 3rd, 2015 by Mike

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All over

February 1st, 2015 by Mike

The rain was blowing sideways – UNTIL noon.

There were few people in Maple Leaf Reservoir Park wearing green and blue – UNTIL NOON.

THEN:

* The rain (mostly) DISAPPEARED.

* 125 Seahawk fans appeared.

* And 15 dogs.

* And KING-5 TV.

* There were chants.

* And blue and green BALLOONS.

Soon, it will be 3:30 p.m.

Following photo courtesy Donna Hartmann-Miller, seen above at top of ladder.


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Maple Leaf’s 12th Bear is on the job this Sunday

February 1st, 2015 by Mike

Elston and his bruin brothers. Editor’s note: Hard to fit all 12 bears into one frame.

Cloud City Coffee is closing at 3 p.m. And offering the Legion of Boom: “Whole milk latte with four shots and no foam. Representing the Seahawks secondary, a shot for each starter and no cushion.

“Expect to be knocked down.”

Maple Leaf Ace Hardware is closing at 3 p.m. “We are having FREE Seahawk Face Painting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can get all dolled up for THE GAME.”

Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park will again take the 12th Man photo at the park, noon sharp.

And Maple Leaf Life is providing the 12th Bear – one dozen of them (plus a Tigger who came along because that’s what Tiggers do).


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Police now shifting beats, staffing to bust crime

January 29th, 2015 by Mike

The Seattle Police Department has a new chief, a new(ish) mayor and will soon deal with a new City Council whose members will represent specific neighborhoods.

It also has new approaches to fighting crime.

Our news partner The Seattle Times has a story this week on the police “SeaStat” program – a statistics-driven way to deploy resources and hopefully reduce crime.

And, the department is re-drawing police patrol beats and shifting staffing. The changes follow a wave of criticism this fall that police are not pursuing property crimes and perhaps are too short-staffed to be effective, specifically in the North Precinct that covers Maple Leaf. The Times had an update last month.

Now the police have announced more changes, beginning this week.

For the first time since 2008, the Seattle Police Department is shifting the boundaries of its 51 police beats. The change will improve officer supervision and public safety service, better align police patrols with Seattle’s neighborhoods, and achieve a major milestone in the department’s work toward reform with the Department of Justice.

Beginning January 28th, the department will increase the number of patrols squads and sergeants at each of SPD’s five precincts, improving each precinct’s officer-to-supervisor ratio.

The full release is here.

One thing that might mean for Maple Leaf is an easier way to track crime trends.

Maple Leaf  for years has taken up chunks, but not all, of three different patrol beats in the North Precinct: Nora 3, Union 1 and Lincoln 2 (see top map), making it impossible to reliably look at crime over time in just our neighborhood. (See The problem with tracking crime in Maple Leaf.)

It’s hard to say for sure, but the revised beat map (below) might place all or most of Maple Leaf into one beat, Lincoln 2.

As part of the patrol map realignment, the department will also revise neighborhood-based crime data available on My Neighborhood Maps, Tweets By Beat and Data.Seattle.Gov to reflect the new beat boundaries. The new data is expected to be available by mid-February.

SPD’s Tweets By Beat and My Neighborhood Maps will be offline and unavailable until February 2nd as part of the beat update.

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Tonight’s community meeting is live

January 28th, 2015 by Mike

Seattle Police Officers M. Rios and Nic Plemel address the meeting.

More than 70 neighbors are at this evening’s meeting of the Maple Leaf Community Council.

The agenda includes briefings on the old Waldo Hospital site, traffic on Lake City Way, crime in the neighborhood, and new apartments near Northgate Mall.

Questions were raised over homeless camps in Thornton Creek, drug use and squatters in  vacant buildings.

“A common problem with vacant buildings is determining who has the actual (legal) authority over the building,” said Officer M. Rios. Otherwise, “our legal authority to move somebody out is very limited,” she said.

Also, who responds to off-leash dog complaints at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park?

“We would try to de-escalate the situation first,” said Officer Nic Plemel, adding: “I have not personally responded once to an off-leash dog call.” (Which would normally be handled by the city’s animal control department.)

The officers and audience members seemed to agree that communication between neighbors is key. “Your neighbors are the best defense you have” against property crimes such as car prowls and burglaries, said Rios.

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Wednesday: Community meeting on traffic, police, more. Sunday: 12th Man rally at noon in the park

January 27th, 2015 by Mike

A meeting from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday will focus on plans for the now-defunct Waldo Hospital, traffic on Lake City Way, new apartments near Northgate Mall - and police and public safety.

The January meeting of the Maple Leaf Community Council is held at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Free, licensed child care will be provided.

According to the council’s newsletter, the main item on the agenda will be a 45-minute presentation by Aegis Living on plans to build an assisted living facility on the grounds of the old hospital at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street.

There will also be a briefing from the Seattle Department of Transportation on Lake City Way, and information on the apartments near the mall.

Finally, the newsletter notes: “The Seattle Police Department will be on hand to talk about public safety. It’s no secret property crimes are a problem in Maple Leaf. It’s also no secret the priority SPD puts on property crimes needs adjustment.”

Police-related items being discussed in the neighborhood this week include squatters in a vacant house in the 9800 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast and a number of tents in the Thornton Creek woods behind the bus stop at Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 103rd Street (across from Northgate Mall).

In non-police news: Maple Leaf’s 12th Man returns to the park at noon Superbowl Sunday!

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Endangered: The Northgate pedestrian bridge at I-5

January 25th, 2015 by Mike

Last week The Urbanist had this post: “Call To Action: Save the Northgate Pedestrian Bridge.”

It talks about the planned bridge over Interstate 5 to link North Seattle College and Licton Springs to the Northgate transit center and light rail hub.

When we last wrote about it, the projected cost was $20 million, paid by a variety of agencies, including Sound Transit.

Now The Urbanist reports:

The Northgate Pedestrian Bridge, a pedestrian and bicycle oriented crossing of I-5 for the Northgate Link Station, is at risk of losing its funding in the summer. The Sound Transit Board placed an artificial time limit for the City of Seattle and Sound Transit to come up with a funding solution.

And it notes some of the benefits:

In recent years, new growth has been occurring at a rapid pace and transforming this area. Licton Springs also hosts North Seattle Community College, a number of office buildings, a hotel and some small retail. On the east side of this bridge lies the neighborhood of Maple Leaf, which also hosts mixed density, major retail outlets, library, and a community center. There is a significant draw between these two communities, and there ought to be a strong natural path for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel between them.

For more details, and to take action, follow the link.

The Urbanist also has a post on pedestrian improvements along Lake City Way Northeast, noting: “Lake City Way is an arterial street in northeast Seattle that has been chronically unsafe for all users. It’s also a State highway, so features beyond sidewalks and beg buttons for people walking are mostly an afterthought.”

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The coyote of Maple Leaf?

January 20th, 2015 by Mike

Greg emails under the subject line: “Coyote spotted in Maple Leaf”:

Not sure if someone else sent this tip in, but we saw this guy last Thursday on the corner of Eighth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th street at 8:20am. He looked pretty happy and comfortable…not sure if he is a regular.

Given that Thornton Creek cuts though Maple Leaf, this seems possible.

(Maybe he’s on his way to class at Olympic View Elementary.)

Any other sitings?

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Good – GREAT – news, and bad

January 18th, 2015 by Mike

Super Congratulations from Maple Leaf Life and the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis.

On the bad news end, this showed up at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park over the weekend. (And it’s not the first time.)


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Wind, rain and power outages on Seahawk Sunday

January 18th, 2015 by Mike

Northeast 105th Street blocked between Fifth and Eighth avenues.

Just under 10,000 Seattle City Light customers are without power this morning (7 a.m.) on game day.

A high wind warning will expire at 8 a.m.

Wind gusts hit 48 mph at 12:25 a.m. here at Maple Leaf Life South. An inch of rain fell in the overnight storm.

Only two neighbors in south Maple Leaf are without power, but large swaths of Meadowbrook and Shoreline are dark.

In the greater Seattle metropolitan are, Puget Sound Power reports 33,000 customers without power and Tweeted:

Crews will be in “beastmode” to assess damage and restore as many customers as quickly as we can.

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Rain – lots of it – forecast tonight, and wind

January 17th, 2015 by Mike

The local weather map is very colorful this evening – and for good reason.

We are under both a flood watch and a wind advisory.

The flood watch is mostly east of us, but does headline the Maple Leaf forecast.

THE LOWLANDS CAN EXPECT ABOUT 1-2 INCHES OF RAIN FROM ABOUT SEATTLE SOUTHWARD. IN ADDITION…THE SNOW LEVELS WILL BE RISING TO OVER 7000 FEET TONIGHT MAKING THE MAJORITY OF THE PRECIPITATION FALLING OVER THE MOUNTAINS IN THE FORM OF RAIN.

As to wind:

TIMING…WINDS WILL INCREASE DURING THE EVENING HOURS THEN WILL SLOWLY DECREASE DURING THE DAY ON SUNDAY.

* WIND…SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH.

* IMPACTS…WINDS THIS STRONG CAN SNAP SMALL TREE BRANCHES… TOPPLE SMALL OR SHALLOW ROOTED TREES…AND CAUSE LOCAL POWER OUTAGES.

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Waldo property to become assisted living facility?

January 17th, 2015 by Mike

The old Waldo Hospital property could become a 70+ bed assisted living facility, according to the Maple Leaf Community Council.

In this month’s community newsletter, David Miller, council president, says the Jewish day school that occupied the site defaulted on its loan.

The property returned to the financier, who has negotiated an agreement with Aegis Living to build a three-to-four story assisted living facility, Miller said, adding the existing building will be demolished.

The trees on the property, at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street, are protected under an earlier agreement negotiated by the council.

Details of the new proposal will be presented at the council’s January general meeting, January 28th from 7-9 p.m at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St.

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Man robbed, pistol whipped after leaving Roosevelt Way convenience store

January 17th, 2015 by Mike

Eugene emails to alert us to this police press release, which came out Friday. Here it is in its entirety:

Officers on Thursday arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of pistol whipping and robbing a victim earlier this month in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Police are still searching for other men involved in the robbery.

The mugging happened shortly after midnight on January 5th. The 24-year-old victim said he ran into an acquaintance at a convenience store located in the 9100 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast. The suspect invited him to ride in a car with his friends and smoke pot.

After the victim got into the car, they drove around and smoked pot, ending up near Northeast 96th Street and 17th Avenue Northeast. Once they stopped, the driver and two passengers in the backseat (one of whom was the suspect arrested Thursday) got out and reportedly pointed handguns at the victim, ordering him out of the car.

They demanded his money, his cell phone and stole two necklaces around his neck. Then they threw the victim to the ground and pistol whipped and punched him until a passing car scared them away. A witness called 911 to report the beating. The victim was taken to Northwest Hospital for treatment.

The victim was able to identify one of the robbers, the acquaintance, from booking photos. Police tracked the suspect down and arrested him at the Northgate Department of Corrections office. He admitted being present at the robbery but denied participating. After getting a search warrant, police recovered two necklaces at the suspect’s home earlier this week. He was booked into King County Jail on robbery charges.

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Good morning Maple Leaf!

January 15th, 2015 by Mike

Maple Leaf Reservoir Park this morning, before the rain.

The forecast:

Today: Rain.

Friday: Rain, chance of.

Saturday: Rain.

(Saturday night: Heavy rain.)

Sunday: Showers.

Martin Luther King holiday: Showers, slight chance of.

Tuesday, the day after the holiday: Sun.

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Fire near North Seattle College leaves two families homeless

January 13th, 2015 by Mike

Fire in a condominium complex this afternoon damaged two units so  severely that the occupants won’t be allowed to reoccupy their homes, Seattle firefighters said.

Emergency crews blocked Meridian Avenue southbound from Northeast 100th Street to Northeast Northgate Way, forcing students at North Seattle College to leave campus on Northeast 92 Street.

At 1:19 p.m. multiple 911 calls came into firefighter/dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting flames coming from the four-story building, which is located in the 10300 block of Meridian Avenue North.

Engine Company 31 arrived to find flames and smoke coming from a third floor balcony and a fourth floor unit. The first arriving company attacked the fire from the outside while hose lines were brought inside to fight the fire from the interior.

When crews arrived, the building’s fire alarms system was sounding and the sprinkler system was activated. Residents inside self-evacuated from the residential complex. No one was injured.

Both the 3rd floor and 4th floor fire units were searched and no occupants were found in either unit. Firefighters did find a deceased cat in one unit. It took 12 minutes to knock down the flames and nearly an hour to completely extinguish the charred combustibles inside the units.

Firefighters contained the fire to just two condos. Both units suffered extensive fire and smoke damage and residents will not be allowed to reoccupy these units. A third unit, on the second floor, suffered water damage.

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